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Miracle Needed To Keep Newcastle United In Premier League Says Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says the club is desperate for new recruits in January if it is to stay in the Premier League
Rafa Benitez says the club is desperate for new recruits in January if it is to stay in the Premier League

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has a gloomy Christmas message for Toon fans.

He told Sky Sports that it would be "a miracle" if Newcastle stayed up next year even if he was backed in the January transfer window with fresh investment.

Newcastle are 15th in the league at the moment, just five above the bottom three. They failed to beat Fulham - one of their relegation rivals - at St James' on Saturday and face a demanding Christmas schedule.   

He said: "We have to be realistic and understand that we will be in the bottom half during the whole season. For me, it is almost clear and if we can be better than three teams, it will be another miracle.

"It was a miracle last year. People were thinking, 'Oh, you finished tenth ...', but with a couple fewer wins, we could have been in the bottom five, so it was a miracle. If we do the same this year with teams spending even more money than last year, it will be a miracle."

The immediate future of the club remains unclear as owner Mike Ashley seeks to sell the club though he insists he is yet to receive an acceptable offer after more than a year. 

As long as this situation persists, Benitez is unsure about whether he will receive any backing in the January transfer window.

"I know what is coming now and I know where we are," said Benitez. "You can see the team - the team is trying a lot of things, but still it's not enough sometimes to get the points, and it will be like that. If we are under pressure and we feel this pressure, we will not be better, we can make more mistakes.

"I'm trying to tell everyone, realise where we are, realise what we have to do and if we do well, fine, we can finish 10th or whatever.

"But if we think we have to beat these teams which have spent £100million, every one of them, during the summer, if we think we can beat them easily every game, no chance. We are wrong, 100 per cent."

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